Getting a manicure is a great way to take care of yourself and enjoy some much-needed pampering. Whether you prefer to visit a nail spa every two weeks or take some time to freshen up your nails at home, a new paint job can leave you feeling ready to show off your nails with a nailfie (nail selfie) to your Instagram and TikTok followers.
While traditional nail products can create a variety of designs and textures, it may not last long if you have to deal with constant handwork or dishwashing. This can be disappointing, especially when you’ve invested your hard-earned money into it.
A gel manicure can provide a chip-free and long-lasting set that can remain intact for up to two weeks or more. You can easily find your preferred gel polish shades and curing lamps at your local drug stores and beauty parlours. The best part is that gel manicures are easy to do, and you can even give yourself a fresh paint job from the comfort of your home, so that you don’t have to go out of your way to visit your favourite nail technician.
Like any beauty treatment, it’s important to understand what exactly you’re getting yourself into before buying or using any professional gel nails products. Below is everything you need to know about professional nail products.
Professional Gel Nails
Professional gel nails are a type of beauty treatment that involves using a gel polish and a LED or UV light to cure the gel and attach it to your nails. Gel polish typically lasts longer than regular polish. Unlike regular polish that can start chipping as early as two to three days, a gel manicure usually lasts chip-free for several weeks.
Gel manicures have the same appearance as a regular manicure, but with added benefits. They are more long-lasting, offer a high gloss finish, and provide a stronger feeling to your nails. The best part about gel manicures is that they are suitable for anyone, regardless of whether your nails are short or long.
How long do gel nails last?
The biggest advantage of using gel nails is their longevity. With proper nail preparation and at-home care, gel nails can last up to two weeks, and with additional care, they can even last up to four weeks. This makes them ideal for those with a busy schedule and several upcoming events like prom, internship interviews, and family vacations. Gel nails can provide the perfect solution for long-lasting and beautiful nails throughout any occasion.
How much do gel nails cost?
The cost of gel nails varies depending on your location and the type of design you desire. For a basic, one-colour gel manicure, prices typically start at around £30 to £35. However, if you prefer more elaborate celebrity-level nail art, the cost can be upwards of £80 or more.
What’s the difference between gel nails and acrylic nails?
Gel nails and acrylic nails are fundamentally different. Acrylic nails are created using a powder that is dipped in solvent, which is primarily used to lengthen the nail or provide a stronger top layer over the natural nail.
Because acrylic nails are essentially extensions, they tend to appear more artificial than gel nails, despite their durability of lasting between three and four weeks. Although they may come in various colours, acrylic nails are usually transparent or natural-toned. Conversely, gel nails come in a range of nail polish shades and finishes and harden through curing under a UV or LED lamp.
To achieve both length and colour, you can apply gel polish on top of acrylic nails, allowing for a range of decorative options. However, removing acrylic nails can be challenging and damaging if the correct products are not utilized or if an acrylic nail extension breaks. Therefore, it is recommended to visit a nail salon for removal or repair to avoid harm to the nail bed.
Do professional gel nails products work?
It is not recommended to use professional gel nails products unless you are familiar with proper nail preparation and application techniques. Incorrectly applied gel polish may lift, causing damage to the natural nail. However, if you have confidence in your nail skills, professional gel nails products may be a cost-saving alternative to weekly salon visits.
While professional gel nails products can get the job done, the results may not always be equivalent to a professional salon experience. Precise adherence to instructions and a steady hand are necessary to achieve a perfect, salon-level gel nail.
If you regularly use traditional nail products or have an upcoming family trip and want long-lasting chip-free colour, investing in gel nails is a worthwhile expense. The cost of gel nails is only slightly higher than traditional nail products. However, if you are on a budget or only require the manicure for a single evening, press-on nails could be a better option.
Lynn Martelli is an editor at Readability. She received her MFA in Creative Writing from Antioch University and has worked as an editor for over 10 years. Lynn has edited a wide variety of books, including fiction, non-fiction, memoirs, and more. In her free time, Lynn enjoys reading, writing, and spending time with her family and friends.